NEWPORT County AFC manager Michael Flynn was bursting with pride after watching his players secure a place in the League Two play-off final at Wembley.

County and Mansfield Town couldn’t be separated after 210 minutes of action as the semi-final second leg ended 0-0 after extra-time at Field Mill and they were locked at 1-1 on aggregate.

But the Exiles prevailed, winning 5-3 on penalties in front of more than 1,100 travelling fans.

“They were absolutely immense,” said Flynn after the final whistle.

“In the first half we were unbelievable. We should have been three or four up and we missed a fair few chances.

“We’ve got to give Mansfield credit and they came back into the game in the second half.

“The second half and extra time period was end to end. Whoever scored the first goal was going to win it was as simple as that.

“I was OK,” he added. “You start getting a bit edgy especially when Scot Bennett hits the bar and the good chances we had, but I’ve got belief in my players and staff and I knew we were going to keep going to the end.

“If it had to go to penalties, then so be it. We practiced penalties yesterday before we left and made sure they all had one until they scored. Even Joe Day scored one.”

South Wales Argus:

The Exiles boss paid tribute to his players and the fans.

“These players are an absolute joy to work with,” he said.

“I’m very lucky and very proud of them. It’s 12 unbeaten now. It’s a fantastic run and I just hope it will be 13 now as it means we’ll be in League One.

“Taking 1,100 to Mansfield on a Sunday when it’s live on Sky is a fantastic following,” he added.

“I’m sure we’ll get a lot more at Wembley and I’m absolutely over the moon.”

Substitute Matty Dolan scored the winning penalty after Joe Day had saved Tyler Walker’s effort.

“It was massive,” said the midfielder.

“We’ve done all the hard work all year and it was fantastic from the boys for 120 minutes.

“It was a fantastic save from the big man and I fancied myself. It was nice to put the cherry on the cake.

“I was massively confident. We had nothing to lose and we fight to the end and always have done. We got our just rewards and a trip to Wembley.

“The boys were fantastic and both goalkeepers pulled off some amazing saves. Overall I thought we were fantastic tonight and deserved the win.”

Day added: “It was one of those shootout saves. You try and stay as big as you can and get something on it. Luckily, I turned it round the post.

“As the game goes on with no goals scored you had to make sure you don’t concede. It was always a chance it could go to penalties.

“It’s amazing. The fans haven’t stopped singing this season and their support at home and away has been superb. To reward them with Wembley is just superb.”